Crossing the Streams – the Battle of Youtube and Twitch
I’ve used Youtube a whole heck of a lot more than I’ve used Twitch. But without trying to sound like a fanboy, things like “Kinda Funny” and “AlfredoPlays” have converted me to watch more Twitch in the past four weeks than I have in my entire life on the internet. Both of these internet giants do similar things, but they also do things that the other one envies. Twitch has a vibrant community that supports its patrons through subscriptions and tips. Youtube has the video on demand quality that everyone seems to love because they may be busy and want to watch it later. Twitch has Moderators, and YouTube is a cesspool of comment boards. But Twitch still doesn’t have an app on the PS4.
Both of these Kaiju will continue to battle it out for our amusement during this E3, what that means is still a bit of mystery. With YouTube announcing that they will be focusing on the ability to stream games, something they have never been able to master. And Twitch announcing awhile ago they will produce the very first Twitch-con. Us fans and streamers are caught in the middle of a muscle measuring contest for lack of a less vulgar term. Twitch has all of Amazon behind them, and YouTube has all of Google behind them, it’s our job to not get hit by the falling debris.
There is something special about tuning into your favorite streamer on Twitch to watch what they are going to play that day. And then you can repay them by either subscribing for the month or tipping them for a good head shot. But it not all about sitting back and watching someone play a methodical video game, it’s also about the interactions that you can have. Something that many people first think about when they first hear about twitch is “Why on earth would I want to watch someone else play a game when I can just play it myself.” That’s a valid point, but it’s only valid if you go to twitch to just watch and not talk with everybody else in the chat. The more enlightening thing that I didn’t realize about Twitch was the fact that people who watch their favorite streamer are a community of people who interact with one another immediately; Something YouTube does not have.
YouTube used to be and still is the place you go for nut shots and cat videos, it’s become so much more than that. People now make their living on YouTube, and it has more successful shows than NBC. (which probably isn’t all that hard to achieve at this point.) Video on Demand is a crucial thing to many people, and it’s why more than half the population has a DVR. People have jobs, and family’s to tend too they can’t always drop everything to watch the most recent “Simon’s Cat” episode, But it will be there when you need it. Almost everyone under the age of 30 watches more YouTube than TV while that’s a whole separate article it does say a lot about people’s expectations. I get more enjoyment out of watching old episodes of Table Top on Geek and Sundry than I do watching re-runs of whatever my local cable company is making me watch. It’s a sense of control and ownership that I have over anything else.
These two behemoths have plenty in common, but one thing they both need to survive is personality, and I don’t mean being charming at a party, I mean people to keep you interested. If I was watching a stream on twitch and nobody was talking or interacting with the things around him, I would lose my mind and then go do something else. And if the narrator on CSPAN hosted every YouTube Video they would not be as popular as they are now. Everybody needs a Pewdiepie or a Syndicate; those people are watched every single day for every hour they are available. And after the creators and streamers come all the people that support and attend, we are essential to making the wheel turn.
Companies are always ruthless that’s why they are company’s they have no regard for human life, and it will always be like that. So when these company’s battle it out for the most dominate gaming streams in the coming moths and years, it will be interesting to see who comes out on top if any at all does. Competition is great, Twitch has a hardcore community on its side and YouTube has an ease and accessibility on its. This could come to a conclusion of coexistence, but something tells me Google doesn’t play for a tie, and Twitch is certainly digging in their heels. And just to think Google almost bought Twitch not long ago.